Note:  This is part 2 of my monthly series on 20 things to be thankful about real estate in Fort Worth in 2017.   

When I decided to get into real estate full time, I was excited because I would get to continue the aspect of my previous career (Library Technology) that I truly enjoyed:  working with customers.  After all, it is the customers that make the business a possibility.  Without them, I would not have a reason to keep doing what I am doing.   I love working with people and helping them with their real estate needs, whether it is buying, selling or investing in real estate.  Taking from the metaphor I use in my about page, I am a teammate of my customers, helping them with every pitch that comes their way.  My goal is to keep them from striking out and hit a home run with each pitch.   I have met a wide variety of people along this second chapter of my career and every one of them has been a blessing.    This year there were five that just stood out to me that I wanted to share with you.   For the sake of their privacy, I won’t share their real names, but the stories are very true.   

  1. My Lakeside home flip sale – Samuel had come to me the previous October asking my assistance in getting him a flip property in the North Fort Worth area.  I had just decided to participate in my brokerages flip worthy program as a service I provided.  I was thrilled that Samuel wanted to partner with me on a flip property.  With flip properties, your goal is to quickly repair the property and sell it as a move-in ready property.  The trick is to find a property at a price that is appropriate for the required repairs.   You don’t want to purchase a $100,000 house with $50,000 in necessary repairs, if it only will sell for $150,000.   Samuel had been a successful architect before so I was excited to work with someone who understand design and structure well.   It took us a bit but we were able to get Samuel a flip property in the Lakeside community, which is just west of 199, leading to Azle.   The house was built thirty plus years ago so there was a lot to do with the property to make it more attractive to today’s buyers.   With these types of homes, you have to open them up as most were built with distinct functions for each room.   You also have to be sure to update the bathrooms, kitchen and flooring.  What I remember most about this property was a large family room that was the size of some area event halls.  It was really the perfect home for entertaining.   Three months after Samuel had purchased the property, we listed in the MLS.  We closed on the home about six weeks later.  Since then, I have done three more homes with Samuel and we are working on a fifth.   I have learned quite a bit from Samuel as he looks over properties with an architecture mindset and consider it a blessing to work with him everyday.

  2. My Irving home flip sale – This is a listing that is actually going online around the same time this post is being published.   Thomas and I had worked together last year on a house he had purchased and didn’t want to list.  Luckily, I had an investor who was interested in getting into the rental market where the house resided so we ironed out a deal, or at least thought we had.  The investor found out that the deal wouldn’t work for his lender so he had to pull back on it.  Two weeks later, I was back on the phone with Thomas, telling him my investor was still interested in the property and had found a way to make it work.   Thomas was a pure professional, willing to work with us twice until we got the deal done.   When Thomas called me earlier this month about his upcoming Irving flip, I jumped at the opportunity to work with him again.  Real estate has its share of shady and unprofessional individuals.  Thomas has been a delight to work with due to his professional ethical approach to real estate.   I look forward to getting his flip sold later this month.   

  3. Helping first time home buyers find a home in Saginaw – Sally and Sara came to me when one of my more regular customers referred me to them.   Sally was the daughter of my client’s girlfriend.   The two young ladies were looking to buy their first home.  Since I love helping people buy their first home, I was thrilled to start the house hunt with them.   We went to look right after Thanksgiving last year.  We lucked out and found the perfect house for them the first day.  We put in an offer along with ten others that did so, and to my client’s heartache, they didn’t get it.   With the holidays, I didn’t hear back from them until this last January.   To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would hear back since they were so disappointed with losing out on the first house.   To my delight, we started hunting for a house again in January, looking in a wide variety of areas around North and West Fort Worth.   With this tight seller’s market, it can often be even more challenging for first time home buyers to find a property because of their limited budget.   If you want a house under $175K in Fort Worth right now, you will have a very limited number of options.   Despite these challenges, we found a home in the older part of Saginaw that had recently been updated by some flippers.   My clients loved the floor plan of the house and we quickly put in an offer, which was accepted the next day.   We closed on the property thirty days later.  It was a blessing to work with these two young ladies and help them realize their dreams of home ownership.   

  4. Helping a Veteran find his “forever home” – Mitch and his wife Samantha were old family friends that had decided to start looking for their “forever home” once their youngest son graduated from high school.  Mitch is a Marine vet and had always wanted to move out of the urban area and find a house with some land attached to it.  His target was Johnson county, away from real estate in Fort Worth.  Samantha was an urbanite through and through, but wanted to give her husband something special for his service to this country.  I couldn’t have agreed more.   We dived headfirst into the house hunting in the late days of Spring and saw some amazing unique properties away from the hustle and bustle of urban live.  We saw one home that had been expanded to include a guest house on a couple of acres.  We saw an unfinished home in a new development that shined for its modern day amenities.   We ended up putting an offer on a early 20th century house that had been completing redone on the inside by the sellers.   It was too bad that the inspection came back with too many repairs for my buyers comfort level.   We kept looking while at the same time putting their current home on the market.   One beautiful Sunday afternoon, we found a 4000 plus square foot house tucked away from the road (took us a bit to find it) that had some amazing features including a floor to ceiling (ten foot high) fireplace and a awe-inspiring view from the back porch.  They both looked at me and said “this is it.”   It was a juggling act to sell their current house while buying another one, but we were all breathing a sighs of relief when the paperwork was signed around the 4th of July holiday.   It was a true blessing to be able to help this well-deserved vet find his “forever home.”   

  5. Finding a Soon-to-Be-Doctor her first rental in the area – Amy and Kris contacted me via biggerpockets.com to ask about getting a rental property in the Arlington/Fort Worth area.   They told me that they had a rental down in Austin and wanted to get one closer to where they now lived, but needed my help since they had not bought an investment home in this area yet.   Over coffee on Saturday morning, we bonded over our dogs (I had just gotten a German Sheppard puppy) and set up a time to go look over some properties.   We saw several over the next few weeks, but got beat out on a few and couldn’t come to terms on some others.   We ended up focusing on real estate in Fort Worth since there were more rental property options there than in Arlington.  We finally found one in Aledo ISD (which is still available to rent if you are interested, check here).    During the finance phase of the process, I learned that Amy had gone out of town for awhile.   When she got back, she explained to me that she had gone on a mission trip to provide medical assistance to some under-served areas outside the USA.  In fact, she told me one of the reasons she wanted to have investment properties was to help her afford trips abroad to help those with less get their needed medical help.   I was blown away!  It is such a blessing to work with an individual who would have such an altruistic reason to own investment properties.  It really did refresh my view of humanity!   

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